36 days. In a little over a month the citizens of the United States will enter voting booths to determine our next president.
It seems every four years the heat gets turned up to a place of hopelessness and desperation if one candidate or the next is not elected. With friends on both sides of the political discourse I have heard the familiar theme, “if this candidate is elected, America as we know it will come to an end.”
This year has been especially tumultuous. Whether the late seated appointment of a Supreme Court justice, last minute revelations about candidates, or the non stop political fear mongering, this year has caused us to reach a decibel level of rancor far beyond previous elections.
I have seen the hearts of fellow believers turned hopeless in this time. I am broken over the rage I see in my fellow believers always flowing online. I am broken over the desperation I see in people as the fear of losing this election has enveloped their hearts.
It is easy to see that Christ is no longer the solid rock of believers’ lives, but instead political victories have become our new source of strength. Our hope is found in nothing less than political wins and justices. We dare not trust the news channel, but wholly lean on our candidate’s name.
In 37 days we will all wake up knowing whether the candidate you voted for won or lost. We will respond predictably, “Even though this country is walking away from God, I know He is on His throne.” or, “God answered our prayers! He placed His man in office.”
Funny enough, it will reset slowly building again for the next four years.
Friends, I am grieved at how politics has slowly taken our hope and affections which belong to God alone and turned them to place our hope in parties and people.
I want to be clear. In this election there are distinct policies that I deeply care about that will shape the way I vote. I want you to vote.
As your pastor my heart is that politics takes the place it belongs, as the servant of your faith. Your faith should drive your hope, your politics, and your life.
Let me elaborate on what I mean. As a believer in Jesus Christ, your first allegiance is to Jesus. He is your hope, your savior, your king, and your life.
The hope of Christ should transform the way we view politics. As believers we understand that our world is broken, and even in our best attempts we elect sinful government officials who will pass sinful policies. This does not mean we do not strive to elect men and women who pursue justice and righteousness but that as long as we live in a broken world we will live under broken governments. Our hope in this world is not that we can build a utopian society but instead that one day God will make all things new. The only ruler that can bring true justice ruling rightly is King Jesus.
The hope of our world is that Jesus is its savior. This singular truth should affect the way we interact with politics. If we genuinely believe that the hope of this world is found in the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus, it would change the way we understand and interact politically. We would understand that no man’s heart is genuinely changed through the passing of laws. Not only that, understanding that genuine hope is found in the gospel (Jesus’ death and resurrection) helps us see our fellow man not as a political foe to be subdued but instead as an image bearer for whom Jesus died. If the hope of this world is genuinely Jesus, then we would sacrifice our lives in love for the very people whom we are screaming at politically.
The hope of our world is that Jesus is king. Jesus is sovereign not only over the nations. He is sovereign over our nation. Jesus is sovereign over the United States of America. I remember when our current president was elected the numbers of pictures and statements depicting God being welcomed back into the White House. What a weak view we have of God that somehow He is rendered useless in our country the moment an election doesn’t go your way. When you read the Bible it is easy to see how God is not captive to the governments of this world but uses them both good and wicked for His grand plan. The story of Christ coming to this earth is of God weaving wicked empires together to set the perfect circumstances for His incarnation. If God could wield the mighty Roman emperors and Alexander the Great for his purpose, surely He is not held captive to our election.
Our God is working all things together for good, and we must realize that the outcome of this election, whether or not your candidate won, will further His global and eternal plan.
Can I challenge you over the next 36 days to give politics a secondary place in your life and to allow Christ to be your hope, savior, and king? If he is your hope and savior, does that post you desperately want to share or that comment about dropping truth bombs really help lead your opponent to Jesus? Does the way you think and communicate about politics show that you believe God is in control?
Let’s be truthful. For many of you, Christ is not your life. Politics are your life.
No matter who wins this coming November, they will be found wanting. Your heart will only be satisfied with a true king, the king who bore your sins sacrificially on the cross. In these next days might we embrace his mercy, love, and grace. Might we abandon the worthless idol of politics to embrace our Sovereign King Jesus.